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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, October 30, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
We must be so committed to living for Christ that we “despise” our lives by comparison. This does not mean that we long to die or that we are careless or destructive with the life God has given, but that we are willing to die if doing so will glorify Christ. We must disown the tyrannical rule of our own self-centeredness. By laying aside our striving for advantage, security, and pleasure, we can serve God lovingly and freely. Releasing control of our lives and transferring control to Christ bring eternal life and genuine joy. (NLT)
John 12:24-26 – [Jesus said] “The truth is, a kernel of what must be planted in the soil. Unless it does it will be alone–a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels–a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them.”
The Lord says, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” — Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)
Karen E. Brown (Mississippi) titled her story “THE LODGEPOLE PINE;” here is Karen’s story:
“On a recent trip to South Dakota and Wyoming I learned about the lodgepole pine, a tree native to the area. One of its unusual characteristics is its serotinous cone, which means that it releases its seeds when exposed to extreme heat. This results in the propagation of new trees after a forest fire. When told about this, I marveled at the intricacy of God’s creation, which has a plan designed to sustain life in the midst of destruction.
“We sometimes experience ‘forest fires’ of tragedy and suffering in our lives, resulting from forces outside ourselves and sometimes from our own sin. In the midst of these events in our lives it can be difficult to see how God will bring good from the situation. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, ‘Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope’ (Jer. 29:11). I know from personal experience that we often feel God’s love and healing most powerfully in difficult situations. In all circumstance, God can bring transformation and new life.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Out of our pain, God can create new life.
Prayer: Creator God, we trust you to be with us in all life’s circumstances because you have a plan for our welfare. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Prayer Focus: FIREFIGHTERS
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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